A Memory Bet You Can't Forget

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SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK) is a global leader in flash-memory storage solutions. It designs, develops, and manufactures flash-memory cards that are used in various electronic products. SanDisk’s flash-memory products include solid-state device (SSD), memory cards for smartphones and cameras and flash products used in electronic devices including tablets, laptops, and computing platforms.


In the first quarter of 2013, SanDisk revenues grew by 11.21% year over year, to $1.34 billion and declined 13.02% quarter over quarter. The company reported a net income of $166 million, a decline of 22.16% from $213.54 sequentially. For the next quarter, ending in June, analysts expect revenue of $1.39 billion. SanDisk's healthy sales of SSD products drive performance and contributed 20% to total sales. The company gained share in the SSD market, which will drive future growth. Not only is the company’s EPS showing consistent growth, its price-to-earnings (P/E) and operating margin are also higher than industry average.

SanDisk has increased its SSD market share through its acquisition of Pliant Technology. Due to a strong relationship with industry leaders such as Teradata and Dell, the SSD division will be a key driver for future growth.

The increased growth of cloud storage will also have a major impact on SanDisk’s SSD segments. There is a shift from PCs to handheld devices which can have twofold impact manufacturers of SSD. The increased sales of handhelds will increase SSD demand. Moreover, these devices rely on cloud storage and SSD are an essential component of tired storage structures.


Due to an increase in players, the NAND industry is currently facing an oversupply and price competition. This price competition has severely impacted industry-wide margins. SanDisk has recently reduced its NAND flash price and so have competitors. For this year, SanDisk’s management raised its estimated revenue for the year ended 2013, because it expects prices to stabilize. Growing demand of Smartphones and tablets will help to drive the demand for NAND flash and also increase prices.

SanDisk is a key supplier to Applewhich is a key global purchaser of NAND chips. Last quarter, Apple accounted for 13% of SanDisk's business. A further rise in iPhone demand will boost Apple’s demand for NAND flash chips. About 45 million iPhones have been sold in the last quarter of 2012. Analysts estimate that Apple's share in the mobile market will grow from 7% in 2012 to 15% in 2019. The company is all set to launch the next iteration of iPhone and maybe even a cheaper iPhone. The street is expecting Apple to make the launch in the fall.

In the SSD industry, SanDisk has a number of competitors, but Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU) and Seagate Technology (NASDAQ: STX) are the key competitors of SanDisk. Western Digital(NASDAQ: WDC)and Seagate are manufacturing hybrid devices, which can be used alternatively to hard-disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD). These devices also deliver high speed and more storage capacity. This could increase competition for SanDisk and threaten the ambitions of the company to target cloud storage.

Micron was in losses since 2011 and reported its first profit of $43 million in the third quarter of 2013. Micron is acquiring Elpida Memory at a cost of $2.07 billion. The objective of this acquisition is to gain control of more manufacturing facilities and further stabilize prices. Seagate controls 40% of the hard-drive market. Now it has increased its focus on solid-state drives and released its first consumer solid-state drive.

While Seagate Technology pays a significant and growing dividend and seems able to generate the cash flow to support it, a global slowdown in demand for digital memory storage has begun to put pressure on margins. Is Seagate worthy of your investment consideration (and dollars)? The Motley Fool answers this question and more in our most in-depth Seagate research available for smart investors like you. Thousands have already claimed their own premium ticker coverage, and you can gain instant access to your own by clicking here now.

Red Chip has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Teradata. The Motley Fool owns shares of Western Digital.. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

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